Former APD officer pleads guilty, faces four misdemeanor charges

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Former Austin Police Department Officer Leonardo Quintana pled guilty to drunk driving Monday, after his January 2010 arrest in Williamson County. The jury trial, set to begin Monday, did not take place after Quintana pled guilty to Williamson County prosecutors the same day. The sentencing is scheduled for March 7 and gives more time for pre-investigation into the case, Quintana’s DWI lawyer Jamie Balagia said. “We’ve cut a deal on plea bargain for one year of probation, a $400 fine and the standard condition of probation for a DWI — the judge will of course add any other additional requirements that will benefit the case,” Balagia said. Quintana became a center of controversy after the May 2009 shooting of 18-year-old Nathaniel Sanders II. Quintana, who hasn’t consumed alcohol since his January arrest, attempted to go to APD for help when he realized the extent of his problem, Balagia said. Quintana faces four misdemeanor charges, including two counts of assault, one count of criminal trespass and one count of criminal mischief in two separate altercations with his former fiancee, Lori Noriega, who is also an APD officer. Pre-trial for these charges is scheduled to begin after the DWI sentencing. “We are looking for a good sentencing,” Balagia said. “Leonard would like to move forward with his life and resume his career as an Austin police officer.”